The government of India today informed an all-party meeting in New Delhi that health workers, armed forces, police personnel, and municipal workers would be the first set of Indians to be inoculated against COVID-19 once a new vaccine is ready for distribution in the country.
Besides these, around 27 crore senior citizens, too, would be receiving the vaccine, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan informed the meeting through a presentation explaining India's fight against the pandemic.
The first set to receive the COVID-19 vaccine will be about one crore frontline health workers and the next will be two crore armed forces, police, and municipal personnel, according to Mr Bhushan's presentation, leaders who attended the meeting said.
The all-party meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and included top union ministers. Some 12 leaders from leading parties with five or more MPs spoke at the meeting, sources said.
There was a minor interruption when TR Balu of the DMK tried to raise the farmers issue and Union Coal Minister, Prahlad Joshi, insisted against any diversion of the subject matter.
Some attendees from the opposition parties asked the government to include downtrodden in the first list of people to be vaccinated.
This was the second all-party meeting called by the government on the matter since the outbreak of the pandemic in India in January.
This meeting assumes significance as it is being held following Prime Minister Modi's visit to top pharmaceutical companies in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, and Pune to review the coronavirus vaccine development work in each of these facilities.